December 2018 update: This month, Facebook announced a deadline extension. Facebook business pages can still send subscription messages even if not yet approved. Facebook still recommends business pages request page-level subscription messaging permissions. MobileMonkey has put together a cheat sheet for Facebook Page admins to guide them through the Facebook review process. Get the subscription messaging cheat sheet here.
Today I want to talk about a pressing and important issue for Facebook Messenger marketing — Facebook subscription messaging.
Before the end of the year Facebook Messenger marketers need to act to apply for subscription messaging. It’s an important change from the current system of Facebook messaging permissions.
This guide covers:
- What Is Facebook Subscription Messaging?
- How Is Subscription Messaging Changing?
- How to Apply for Facebook Subscription Messaging in 2 Steps
- Tips for Writing a Facebook Subscription Messaging Request
Jump to each section with the links above or read on for details.
What Is Facebook Subscription Messaging?
The explanation starts with the 24+1 Facebook Messenger rule.
In the first 24 hours of a user opting in to messaging, you can send unlimited updates, promotional and non-promotional.
After 24 hours, you can send unlimited non-promotional updates and one promotional follow up. This is called the 24+1 Rule and what Facebook calls “standard messaging.”
When you create Facebook Messenger chat blasts, you pick one of the 17 purposes for the blast:
Promotional chat blasts are available to anyone, limited to the first 24 hours, plus one any time after.
You can also pay to send a promotional chat blasts any time via Facebook ads sponsored messages.
Meanwhile non-promotional chat blasts are available to all businesses — except for one type: non-promotional subscription messages.
The non-promotional subscription message can be sent by businesses that have been approved by Facebook for subscription messaging.
How Is Subscription Messaging Changing?
Starting Jan. 1, 2019, Facebook is requiring page-level subscription messaging permissions.
Previously MobileMonkey applied for subscription messaging permissions to enable all customers to do chat blasting in an unlimited way provided users adhere to restrictions for purpose categories. This is Facebook subscription messaging approval at the app level.
In short, rather than MobileMonkey’s subscription messaging permissions applying to all users, now page owners have to subscribe on a company page basis.
How to Apply for Facebook Subscription Messaging in 2 Steps
The good news is that it’s quick, easy and free to apply for Facebook subscription messaging. I’ll show you how in 2 steps.
The bad news is that Facebook has a manual review process for subscription messaging applications.
You’ll want to take special care and pay close attention in putting together a thoughtful application. Follow these instructions to get approved for Facebook subscription messaging.
Step 1: Request Subscription Messaging in Facebook Page Settings
From your Facebook Page, go to Settings:
Go to Messenger Platform:
And from Advanced Messaging Features, request subscription messaging:
Step 2: Complete the Short 3-Part Application for Subscription Messaging
The subscription messaging request has three parts — pick a category, describe the nature of your chatbot, and give a couple examples.
The three categories to choose from are:
- Personal Tracking
For the most part, MobileMonkey customers will choose News.
The other categories are too specific to generally apply. Business bots help customers through relevant updates and industry information.
In the details section, describe the information and updates services your chatbot provides, like blog updates.
For MobileMonkey we said something like “MobileMonkey chatbot sends periodic alerts on important marketing industry news.”
Then provide a couple of examples of the helpful news blasts sent by your chatbot:
MobileMonkey’s examples were something like:
“Alert: GDPR regulations come into effect in 24 hours. Check the website for details.”
“The American marketing association has released their annual state of the industry study. Check website for details.”
When your Page has been approved, you’ll see this notice under Advanced Messaging Features:
Tips for Writing a Facebook Subscription Messaging Request
By applying for subscription messaging, you’re agreeing not to send promotional messages under the non-promotional blast purpose.
It is important that you not send promotional stuff outside of the 24+1 rule.
The way that Facebook checks is with machine learning. If you sending too much promotional stuff you’ll get reviewed.
How long does subscription messaging review take?
Because the subscription request is a manual review process, the amount of time to be approved varies. We’ve seen approvals completed within days, or take months.
What happens if you don’t apply for Facebook subscription messaging?
We recommend all our customers apply for subscription messaging to get permissions to send non-promotional and 24+1 promotional messages.
If you don’t apply, or aren’t approved, you have the option to send sponsored promotional messages. You’ll basically have to pay for every message you send.
Do you have to request subscription messaging for every Page?
Facebook is switching to page-level approval, so yes, requests must be made for each Page. Go into each Page’s settings to find the request form.
How can I tell if my chatbot is a “News,” “Productivity” or “Personal tracking” chatbot?
The Facebook for Developers documentation describes the different chatbot categories.
“Productivity” chatbots use integrations for managing personal productivity like calendar events and reminders.
“Personal Tracking” chatbots are more specifically tied to “personal trackers” that give updates on individuals’ health, wellness, fitness and finance.
As you can tell, subscription messaging is an important thing to apply for in your Facebook page. If you have any questions, join the community and ask in the Facebook group.
Be a Unicorn in a Sea of Donkeys
Important next steps:
- Get MobileMonkey for FREE (non-expiring, UNLIMITED contacts).
- Sign up for occasional Facebook Messenger Marketing tips via Facebook Messenger.
- Join the MobileMonkey group on Facebook and share your ideas and questions.